A short Biography of a South Florida Body Painter:
of 'Flick Photographic'
and 'Body Painting by Flick'
People often ask me how I ever became a bodypainter. Here's brief story outlining my path to being a body artist, and why this art form is growing in popularity.
My Journey to Art
My work background has spanned a number of rewarding careers. My undergrad and graduate training were in urban and regional planning and I had a challenging career as a city planner in both Charlotte, North Carolina and Palm Beach County, Florida. After leaving government my wife and I invested in properties and we still manage a portfolio covering more than one state. I have always been a travel photographer and have amassed a marketable library of stock images from travel to over 65 countries on six continents (or about 1/3 of the world's nations). Geography will always be one of my core passions.
In 2002 I returned to my roots as a commercial photographer and artist, attending the Art Institute in Ft. Lauderdale for a formal education in commercial photography. Afterwards I built my photographic industry web site which showcases my diverse work. Its primary purpose is to bring in new clients and opportunities. To view, go to < carlflick.com >. Up until a few years ago, my photographic work had mainly focused on travel, architectural, editorial, and traditional portraiture. But after the economic down-turn, my photography business lost clients who were having to downsize and cut expenses.
Work content significantly changed when I opened a companion business in 2007 as a professional bodypainter. I also shifted my photographic emphasis to modeling, fashion, and glamour as a compliment to the body art. That appears to have been a good decision in South Florida with its emphasis on the modeling and fashion industries. Think trendy Miami Beach only 65 miles south. I love being an artist and it goes without saying, I work on interesting surfaces. I have managed to create a new hybrid niche that combines both my photographic expertise and bodypainting talents. I even have clients who fly in to take advantage of my 'Bodypainting & Photographic Packages'. Patrons are given the opportunity to indulge themselves entirely as eye-catching body art and then they can be stunningly portrayed before the camera. Many describe it as a unique, once-in-a-lifetime experience as well as the safest off-beat excitement one can savor.
A Shift in American Culture
So what is happening in American Culture that people are flocking to bodypainting? Especially women. There are several forces at work that have made it popular. First, American culture is founded on self-expression. I typically collaborate with clients so that the final art is a synergy between artist and subject, and reflects their passions, interests, background, or experiences. It's highly personal and can strike a triumphant moment is someone's life. For example, breast cancer survivors may celebrate their recovery and reclaim their bodies by holding a party and allowing themselves to be bodypainted as a "re-baptism" before their closest friends. This becomes a milestone moment for a renewed life as surgery scars disappear under bright colors and detailed designs. Many may not realize that bodypainting is truly humankind's oldest profession. Evidence on cave walls attest to the fact that art is part of who we are.
Second, values about modesty, nudity, body acceptance, and how we admire beauty are evolving. I have a group of female models who work for me at gallery openings, conventions, nightclubs, private parties, and cutting edge events. Mixed, adoring audiences hunger for this. And my models typically experience rejuvenation from their participation. I either bodypaint them prior to an event, allowing each to become living art objects that energize a function, or I bodypaint them during a gathering in front of an enthusiastic audience as "performance art". Many of my "canvases" describe the painting process as nurturing and rebirthing. My regular clients even call their bodypainting sessions "therapy" and tell me that being painted and becoming art is absolutely necessary for their well-being. Safe touch that culminates in amazing self-art is missing from our modern culture. Body art allows us to easily return to our primordial roots. Our prehistoric ancestors recognized this goodness and fortunately lacked the unnecessary layering of learned modesty, which prevents some from receiving these gifts.
Last, as a commercial photographer, I offer stunning photography of finished body art. The melding of the artistic and photographic disciplines has attracted a unique niche market.
My Products and Diversification
I'm in the process of diversifying my product line and adding new income sources. In addition to my nightclub venues, I am in negotiations with a several advertising agencies and marketing firms as photographic clients. I'm also working on an emerging book of my bodypaintings that may spice up coffee tables nationwide. Last, I now cover a larger region to reach individual bodypainting and photographic clients as far south as Key West (during October's Fantasy Fest) and as far west as Tampa Bay. I have two bodypainting and photographic studios, (one located in West Palm Beach and a second situated one hour north in the Port St. Lucie area). They enable me to better serve the needs of my discerning patrons.
In summary, reinvention is a process as one learns to adapt to new or untapped demand for services and products. My multicultural, photographic, and artistic backgrounds have enabled me to connect to others in a unique way. Fortunately happening at the same time, American culture is obviously evolving as people discover new ways of self expression. In my case, this cultural and personal metamorphosis is a work in progress. To view my three web sites which showcase my professional model photography and my bodypainting artistry, go to:
< carlflick.com/bodypainting >
< www/modelmayhem.com/flick > and
< www.facebook.com/album.php?aid… >.
They say it all. If you want to contact me, go to: < carlflick.com/contact >. This web page will allow you to send a brief message.
Carl A. Flick
West Palm Beach, Florida
Summary of Web sites:
'Flick Photographic' Web Site:
< carlflick.com >
'Body Painting by Flick' Web Site:
< carlflick.com/bodypainting >
Model Mayhem Main Web Site:
< www.modelmayhem.com/flick >
Model Mayhem Photo Gallery:
< www.modelmayhem.com/pics.php?i… >
Body Painting Weblog
< my.opera.com/CAFlick/blog/ >
Facebook Gallery of Images:
< www.facebook.com/album.php?aid… >
"To be successful, you have to be unique and so different, that if people want what you have, they have to come to you to get it." - Walt Disney
Carl A. Flick
Body Painting by Flick
P. O. Box 432
West Palm Beach, Florida 33402
Industry Web Site: < carlflick.com/bodypainting >
Model Mayhem Main Site: < www.modelmayhem.com/533915 >
Model Mayhem Photo Gallery: < www.modelmayhem.com/pics.php?i… >
Bodypainting Weblog No. 1 < bodypaintingbyflick.wordpress.… >
Bodypainting Weblog No. 2 < my.opera.com/CAFlick/blog/ >
Facebook Photographic Gallery (filled with bodypainting images):
< www.facebook.com/carlflick?v=p… >